Is protein supplementation needed to build muscle and replace loss?
If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I need more protein”, I would be one wealthy lady! High-protein snacks, high-protein recipes, high-protein bars, high-protein supplements!!! AGHHH!! I honestly can’t even count the number of times friends and co-workers have shown me the high-protein supplements they have spent their hard-earned dollars on because they have started a new weight loss or exercise plan. Protein is vital nutrient, but honestly the high-protein craze caused me to recoil every time I hear it come out of someone’s mouth!
1. Fact or Fad. If you are weight lifting, the amount of protein you should eat is double your weight in kilograms.
2. Fact or Fad. If you want to maximize your workout, you need a pre-or post-workout protein supplement.
3. Fact or Fad. Cyclical bulking will allow you to gain muscle mass and lose fat over time.
If you answered fact to any of the above questions, continue reading…
Athletes expend more energy than a couch potato and in turn require more nutrients to replenish stores, repair, and build muscle. But, avid gym-goers don’t need as much protein as you may think. Here’s a general guideline of protein need based on weight:
If you weigh ➡️ you should eat:
If you’re not super old, sick, have wounds, are hospitalized, or are on dialysis, your protein intake should never exceed 1.7 grams per kilogram of your body weight. There is absolutely no evidence that a higher protein diet has any health benefits. In fact, the additional intake of saturated fat and cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and puts unecessary stress on your liver and kidneys. There is an association between excessively high intakes of protein in men and early development of prostate cancer.
- 115 lbs →55 grams protein
- 125 lbs →60 grams protein
- 135 lbs →64 grams protein
- 145 lbs →70 grams protein
- 155 lbs →74 grams protein
- 165 lbs →80 grams protein
- 175 lbs →84 grams protein
- 185 lbs →88 grams protein
- 195 lbs →93 grams protein
- 200 lbs →95 grams protein
If you’re working out a lot, do you need protein supplementation?
If you aren’t vegan and live in America, you are likely already getting more protein in your diet than you need. If you are a vegetarian (lacto-ovo or lactoveg), you get high quality protein from eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, soy, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils. If you are vegan and consume no animal products what-so-ever, eat loads of beans…beans, beans, they make you smart; the more you eat, the more you…💨
Here is an idea of how much protein is in common foods:
These numbers may vary depending on the product, but this gives you an idea.
- 3 oz lean beef=22 grams
- 3 oz chicken=26 grams
- 3 oz fish=21 grams
- 8 oz glass of milk=8 grams
- 1 cup yogurt=12 grams
- 2 Tbs peanut butter=8 grams
- 3/4 cup cooked pinto beans=7 grams
- 1 oz cheese=7grams
The Take Away
Focus on whole foods, as absorption from supplements is not optimal and they are typically overpriced. When you eat whole foods, you gain beneficial nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, calcium, and phytochemicals that provide substantial health benefits and disease prevention.
Include carbohydrates in your diet so your body doesn’t require protein for energy which breaks down muscle. Eat healthy fats found in fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
*Something you may not know: The more in shape you are, the more efficiently you use protein which means you would require less, not more.
Check out this amazing recipe, loaded with healthy fats, complex carbs, fiber and high-quality protein: World Famous (almost) Vegetarian Chili
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